PEACE PIPE DREAM
I recall scenes of fighting in Vietnam on the evening news. At that time I preferred watching Captain Kirk or Batman, but at least the fact that we were bombing foreigners was considered newsworthy. Back then war was a big deal and war crimes were considered a bad thing, something to lie about. And there has always been plenty to lie about. But these days a history of war crimes will put you on the fast track to promotion [the list is too long to include here]. We (meaning U.S.) are currently bombing foreigners on a daily basis. And we're talking a lot of bombs. It's become "normal behavior."
Now, not bombing people seems inconceivable. We can thank our political whores and the overpaid mainstream spokes models pretending, often poorly, to be journalists for this management of our perception. Of course this demonic duo of talking heads and heads of state is propped up by corporate cash. They serve moneyed interests, e.g. profit, not the interests of life, including humans as a subset of living things. They should do away with the annual White House Correspondents Dinner, and just have a swim suit competition to help pick a lucky propagandists as Bullshitter of the Year. Years and years of steady propaganda has made peace unthinkable.
We in the U.S. tend to calculate the cost of war in dead American heroes. Even kids who laugh while they kill innocent and unarmed people by shooting machine guns from helicopters are heroes, especially if they eventually get blown up themselves. Better if they don't simply get injured, because then they'll require expensive medical assistance, and may become a veteran peace activist. Private Manning was tortured, imprisoned and is in prison again for exposing among other things video proof of U.S. war crimes. She's a "traitor," those mass murderers remain our heroes. Money is why as a species we are committing murder-suicide, but not before wiping out a significant percentage of wild bystanders, innocent organisms that don't pick sides or even listen to the news. The war machine is by design a destructive killer, it wastes unimaginable amounts of money, is the world's worst polluter, lays waste to people, property, and potentially the entire planet, yet it is the most trusted and respected branch of our government [odd that a "defense" department isn't in The Constitution].
A tiny fraction of all casualties in any conflict we are part of is us, or rather soldiers acting on behalf of the U.S. We can certainly dish it out, but have we ever really had to take it? Our response to a couple thousand deaths on 9-11 has resulted in at least a million deaths in Iraq, and millions of destroyed lives. Literally overkill! The devastation began in 2003 and is ongoing. I've heard many squawking heads claim Iraq was the right thing to do, despite the fact that Iraq posed no threat to our country, nor did it have ANYTHING to do with 9-11. Of course, it was the right thing if you ask a war profiteer.
Chelsea Manning is in jail, not the criminals that stole trillions of dollars, destroyed millions of lives, and caused incalculable environmental travesties. Even during World War II, the "good war," less than half a million Americans died, but about 24,000,000 Russians did. I think it's been estimated that 70 million people died in WWII. Here it was more about making millions. "War is a Racket" by Major General Smedley Butler is a very short book, the evidence that he was right fills the Library of Congress and is spread across the Intertubes.
Although the dollar cost of the war machine occasionally gets mentioned, it's never considered rationally. A rational cost-benefit analysis of our military would eliminate it virtually entirely. If the resources were used to help people, or simply pay countries for their resources, no one would wish to do us harm. The decomposing elephant in the room is that our military actions have done far greater harm than doing nothing. Why do we support an organization that spends most of our tax money and gives us nothing back? As a nation we're brainwashed. We've been convinced that punching the world in the face over and over again will make us safer.
War destroys life indiscriminately. War is antithetical to civilization. During my [slightly more than] half century on this planet I've witnessed a never ending series of purposeless [and undeclared] wars. These corporate adventures are all cloaked in flimsy fabricated pretense, lies that sound and smell like bullshit. Shit that we slurp up like hot fudge sundaes. Unnecessary conflicts deflect funds from meaningful projects, they destroy everything in their path, including any resemblance our foreign policy has to credibility. Only two entities profit from war: plutocrats and pestilence. Whoops! Kinda redundant there.
Two recent among millions of related links:
(Chris Hedges at Truthdig.com)
"Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the presidency, as Max Blumenthal points out in his insightful book “The Management of Savagery: How America’s National Security State Fueled the Rise of Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Donald Trump,” was made possible not only by massive social inequality and concentration of wealth and political power in the hands of the oligarchic elites but by the national security state’s disastrous and prolonged military interventions overseas."
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(The Last American Vagabond on YouTube.com)